Directed by Jerry Garcia himself, The Grateful Dead Movie was released on June 1, 1977. The film captured live performances from the Grateful Dead during their 1974 five-night run at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, which marked the end of their tour and the beginning of an extended hiatus that would last throughout most of 1975 (with a few rare exceptions). While documenting these experiences were paradoxical to the free environment that is represented in this film, it was a necessary and admittedly important thing to do at this time during their career. Several of the songs that were recorded over the October 16-20 run were also included in their live album Steal Your Face.
With many glimpses into the “Deadhead” culture, and featuring the “Wall of Sound” concert sound system used by the band throughout 1974, the film faithfully portrays the undeniable movements that the Grateful Dead generation pioneered. Improvisation was more than just a musical choice, it was a lifestyle. Fans are documented in this film to portray the positive atmosphere and colorful history that the culture ultimately provided. The psychedelic animation adds the artistic elements of the generation’s likeliness, including the Uncle Sam skeleton and several images of roses and other GD references.
With dive deeps into songs like “Stella Blue,” “Morning Dew,” and “Johnny B, Goode,” watch Jerry Garcia on guitar and vocals, Bob Weir on guitar and vocals, Phil Lesh on bass, Bill Kreutzmann on drums, Keith Godchaux on keyboards, and Donna Godchaux on vocals in The Grateful Dead Movie from 1977 below. Mickey Hart also joins in at the beginning of the second set of the last show that was filmed for the movie, marking his permanent return to the band after three-year hiatus.
You can watch the full movie via Amazon Prime here or check out a partial video below: